Vying for coverage amidst the frocks and shocks of this year’s Golden Globe Awards is the first annual AACTA Awards (Australian Academy Cinema Television Arts), which unveiled its first round of winners since Geoffrey Rush declared it Australia’s answer to the Oscars.
Hosted Sunday by actress Sigrid Thornton, winners were announced for the first annual AACTA awards luncheon – a precursor to the main ceremony which honours local talent across a variety of technical categories.
The big winner was cinematographer Don McAlpine (X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Rome + Juliet) who was awarded the prestigious Raymond Longford Award for a career spanning more than 50 films over 40 years, including one Oscar nomination and two BAFTA nods.
The Byron Kennedy Award, given to an individual whose work embodies “innovation and the relentless pursuit of excellence”, was awarded to Toomelah filmmaker Ivan Sen for “his unique artistic vision and for showing, by his resourceful multidisciplinary filmmaking, that telling stories on screen is in reach of all who have something consequential to say”.
The remaining technical categories were spread fairly evenly with The Eye of the Storm, The Hunter and Snowtown each receiving two gongs apiece. Based on the award-winning Patrick White novel, The Eye of the Storm picked up Best Production Design (Melinda Doring) and Best Costume Design (Terry Ryan), while The Hunter nabbed Best Cinematography (Robert Humphreys ACS) and Best Original Music Score (Matteo Zingales, Michael Lira, Andrew Lancaster) and Snowtown took home Best Editing (Veronika Jenet ASE) and Best Sound (Frank Lipson MPSE, Andrew McGrath, Des Kenneally, Michael Carden, John Simpson, Erin McKimm).
Elsewhere, ABC1’s Laid won Best Television Comedy Series and Chris Lilley took home Best Performance in a Television Comedy for a bad impression of a black person.
For a full list of winners head to the official AACTAs website.